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HAMPDEN, Massachusetts- Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC) is one round away from capturing a second straight NEWGA Championship title.
On Tuesday at GreatHorse in Hampden, the 36-year old Johnson worked to maintain a lead over the rest of the field, posting a second-round score of 1-over par 73 at the NEWGA Championship. With just 18 holes remaining in the 54-hole championship event, Johnson stands at even par 144 and holds a four-stroke lead over Bradford Country Club’s Krystal Knight.
“I was getting some good looks through the first several holes, but I could not make the putts I needed to on the back side” said Johnson. “These greens are just really tricky so I’ll need to work a little harder tomorrow to get myself into better position to attack the pin a bit more.”
With a big improvement on her first round, Knight fired the only under-par round on Tuesday with a 2-under 71. She stands at 4-over par 148 followed closely behind by a trio of Massachusetts golfers, Jennifer Keim, Pam Kuong, and Hannah Ghelfi, who are T3 at 6-over par 150.
With two birdies and one bogey on the day, Knight had the most consistent round out of her closest competitors.
“The last three holes were the difference maker for me today,” said Knight, a recent graduate of Merrimack College, where she captained the women’s golf team, of her improved performance. “I doubled 16 and 18 yesterday and today I shot par and birdie. Overall it was a very even round. I wasn’t making many birdies, but I wasn’t making many mistakes.”
Johnson registered three birdies and two bogies on the front side of the course and would go on to take the turn and par the remaining holes with the exception of a double bogey on the difficult 18th hole.
“Things did not go as planned today on that last hole,” said Johnson. “There are several different ways to play the hole and I did not manage it the way I had wanted to.”
Massachusetts was well represented for a second day with eight of the top-10 finishers rooted in the Bay State. Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC) is T6 at 8-over par 153 with Jordan Laplume (Dune Grass GC) from Maine. Rounding out the top-10 are Lauren Thibodeau (Windham CC) representing New Hampshire at 9-over par 155, Sue Curtin (Boston GC) with 10-over par 156, and Joanne Catlin (Oak Hill CC) at 14-over par 160.
Following Tuesday’s second round, all competitors in the field will return to GreatHorse on Wednesday to compete in a third and final round of play.
For more information, visit the NEWGA web site at newenglandwga.org.